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African Cuisines To Feast Your Eyes On

We take a trip to our own backyard by exploring the vast variety of cuisines and influences throughout Africa featuring North, West, East & South Africa. Stoke the coals, dust off the potjie pot and be inspired by African spice blends and the charm of open-fire cooking. Editor Chad January shows you how.   

Beef shin and milk stout potjie  

Serves 6 • Total Time 2 Hr 30 Min  

2kg beef shin or neck
Salt and milled black pepper
1/4 cup cake flour
3 tbsp canola oil
4 thick-cut pork rashers
6-8 baby onions, quartered
3 garlic cloves, crushed
680ml milk stout
3 bay leaves
2 cups beef stock
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
handful fresh parsley or thyme leaves
1 bag baby potatoes, halved
2 packets baby carrots, peeled and halved
1 lemon, juiced
cooked rice, pap or samp

1. Season beef and coat in flour. Shake off the excess.
2. Heat oil in a cast-iron pot over hot coals.
3. Brown beef and pork rashers in batches. Remove and set aside.
4. Add onions and garlic to the pot and fry for 3-5 minutes.
5. Return meat to the pot. Add stout and braise gently for 5-8 minutes.
6. Reduce coals to low-medium heat.
7. Add bay leaves, stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Avoid stirring as far as possible.
8. Add potatoes, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
9. Add carrots, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
10. Remove pot from the heat, season and add lemon juice.
11. Serve bowls full of this hearty potjie with cooked rice, pap or samp.

Cut The Cost
– Swap the beef shin or neck for stewing beef.
– Use quartered large potatoes instead of the baby potatoes.
– Peeled and chopped regular carrots can replace baby carrots.
– Use diced bacon instead of pork rashers, or omit entirely.  

Braaied snoek with buttermilk samp  

Serves 4-6 • Total Time 1 Hr 45 Min (Plus Overnight Soaking)  

For The Samp
2 cups soaked samp, drained
5 cups vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
2 cups buttermilk
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or parsley, chopped
½ lemon, juiced (optional)

For The Snoek 
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup apricot jam
¼ cup chutney
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 chilli, chopped (optional)
1 whole snoek, butterflied
butter, for brushing
salt and milled black pepper

1. Place samp, stock and bay leaves in a large pot and cook over medium heat for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until soft and tender. Top up with water if needed and stir often.
2. Stir in buttermilk, garlic, oil and herbs, and season. Add lemon juice if you like.
3. Create a marinade for the fish by combining the butter, jam, chutney, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and chilli, if using.
4. Prepare medium-hot coals. Line a braai grid with foil on one side and brush it with butter. 5. Place snoek on the foil lined grid, baste with marinade, season well and braai for 15-20 minutes, basting often. 6. Serve snoek on a bed of samp.

Top Tip: Soaking the samp overnight reduces the cooking time by a third.   

Authentic vetkoek and dombolo  

Serves 6 • Total Time 2 Hr  

For The Dough 
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 sachet dry yeast
2¼ cups warm water   

For The Vetkoek 
Vegetable oil, for frying
Spicy mince
Plain yoghurt, for serving
Fresh coriander, for serving

For The Dombolo 
3 Tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, coriander or thyme), chopped

For The Dough 
1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add just enough water to make a sticky, but not wet, dough.
2. Knead dough for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
3. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
4. Knock back dough (releasing the air bubbles) by kneading it again.
5. Divide dough in half.

For The Vetkoek 
1. Select one half of the dough and divide into 6 pieces.
2. Shape each portion into a smooth ball, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.
3. Fry batches of the vetkoek in hot oil for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through and golden. 4. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with butter, or fill with spicy mince.

For The Dombolo 
1. Knead fresh herbs into the dough.
2. Cover dough with a cloth and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.
3. Place dough into a greased metal bowl.
4. Put metal bowl in a large pot of simmering water. The water should not come more than halfway up the side of the bowl.
5. Cover the pot with a lid and steam the bread gently for an hour or until cooked through. 6. Serve the fresh bread with butter, spicy atchar, the beef shin potjiekos or chicken feet stew.

Top Tip: In a rush? Cut prep time and use store-bought bread dough to make both the vetkoek and dombolo.   

Chakalaka and chicken feet pot  

Serves 4-6 • Total Time 1 Hr  

1kg chicken feet, cleaned and nails removed
3 Tbsp coarse salt
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 Tbsp canola oil
4 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
100g tomato paste
1 Tbsp sugar
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cans chakalaka
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

For The Salsa 
1 red onion, chopped
2 salad tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup olive or canola oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Rub chicken feet with coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Gently scrub under cold water and dry thoroughly.
2. Deep fry batches in hot oil for 3-6 minutes or until crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.
3. Heat canola oil in a large cast-iron pot over medium-hot coals.
4. Fry carrots, onions, garlic and bay leaves for 5-8 minutes.
5. Add spices and fry for 30 seconds.
6. Add tomato paste and cook for a minute.
7. Stir through sugar, tomatoes, lemon juice and a cup of chicken stock and cook for 3 minutes.
8. Add chicken and braise for 3-5 minutes.
9. Adjust coals so the potjie is simmering.
10. Pour in chakalaka and remaining stock. Cover with the lid and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
11. Remove potjie from the heat. Season and stir through coriander.
12. Combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and season.
13. Serve potjie with the salsa and dombolo.

Top Tip: Not a fan of chicken feet? Simply swap for chicken wings and skip the salting and deep frying process. Brown the wings in oil before adding the rest of the vegetables to the potjie.  

Words by Chad January
Photography: Fresh Living Magazine 

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